knowledge, then 14 percent of the items would measure procedural knowledge in the content domain of measurement. These items were developed to suit one cell of the matrix, without adequate consideration to the context and connections to other parts of mathematics.

Starting with the 1995 NAEP mathematics assessment, the use of matrices as a design feature has been discontinued. Percentages of items will be specified for each of the five major content areas, but some of these items will be double-coded because they measure content in more than one of the domains. Mathematical abilities categories—conceptual understanding, procedural knowl

NAEP 1990-1992 Matrix











Numbers and Operations



Data Analysis, Probability, and Statistics

Algebra and Functions



Conceptual Understanding







Mathematical Ability

Procedural Knowledge








Problem Solving















edge, and problem solving—will come into play only at the final stage of development to ensure that there is balance among the three categories over the entire assessment (although not necessarily by each content area) at each grade level. This change, along with the continued use of items requiring students to construct their own responses, has helped provide a new basis for the NAEP mathematics examination.4

One promising approach to assessment frameworks is being developed by the Balanced Assessment Project, which is a National Science Foundation-supported effort to create a set of assessment packages, at various grade levels, that provide students, teachers, and administrators with a fair and deep characterization of student

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